Changes for next half marathon training; in order.

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1. Force myself to sleep at least 6 hours before the race, even if this means getting a prescription for sleeping pills! Of course I will pre-test said sleeping pills to make sure they work and I’m not groggy on race day. Will just sleep 7pm to 3am if I have to…

2. Don’t get the flu partway through training and lose 3 weeks because of it! Well actually this might also fall under the category of leave more than one month to train for a half marathon so 2-3 weeks won’t really matter in the end.

3. Run more! Will do trail running to help motivate myself for this. So more long hilly runs.

4. Run on sand much much more. I would say this is 80% responsible for my ability to finish the Seek the Peak, and my ever so slight increase in my half marathon time.

5. Sports gel 15 minute prior to every run over 2 hours, it really helped! Also drinking more of the gatorade in my hydration pack during the race, and more before the race. Apparently just sticking to gatorade, no water and no gels is the way to go during a race…. my body however feels differently about the 12-13K mark!

6. More space between races! That whole 1 week apart thing didn’t work so well. If they had been the other way around it would have been perfect, but they weren’t; it was up the mountain for 4.5 hours, THEN road for 3 hours. The road for 3 would have been good long run endurance training for the up the mountain for 4.5. Something about needing a month off after any runs of 20km or more… likely 16km up a mountain as well.

7. Organize rides better so I don’t have to rely on luck! My luck was so very good in this department, but I will plan better next time.

8. Train more! While I do a LOT of exercise compared with your average person, I do not actually do enough considering the type of races I am running. 3 days per week minimum, and will try to get up to yikes, 30-35 km per week, ack. I will try to stick to that only increase by 10% per week rule though. So from 20km per week (I hate to admit it) up to 30k per week here I come!

Two and a half months of running lots!

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Well it’s been two and a half months of me actually training for half marathons. Boy am I tired… of running! 3 races in 2.5 months is perhaps a little much. Most people did 2 in that time, which is much more reasonable. I’m hoping by race season next year I will have enough running under my belt that each race won’t do me in so much. However they do say you need weeks to recover from each one. Perhaps the more experienced runners push themselves just as hard, but end up being faster about it. I still think if I took 1/3 less the time to complete the run that my body wouldn’t be as miserable after! It will be so much fun when 10k means nothing to me, and the Sun Run will just be a weekly short run distance! Or perhaps a half marathon will be my weekly long run distance… on trails… no way in hell I’d do that to my body on pavement!

There is another race coming up, it’s at the end of September. This would give me three months to recuperate from the last three, love running again, and train up for it! I think I would like to cut another ten minutes off my time :). This is going to involve hill work and sand running though! At least sand running doesn’t hurt the feet or legs, and neither does trail running!

So today I went on a recovery hike after my race yesterday. Uhm, I don’t feel any better. Actually my legs hurt even more now. Perhaps a “recovery” walk isn’t supposed to take an hour and 40 minutes? It was a really pretty hike though; it was around Rice Lake :). What I did since I was taking the day off anyways, was figure out the prettiest flat area I could think of, then went to walk there for awhile. It was a really enjoyable day!

I ran 10 minutes faster! :)

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So doing a half marathon on 5 hours sleep isn’t too bad. However doing one on 3 hours of broken sleep is hell. There was much caffeine, and many sports gels involved! It was still hell due to the tiredness factor. I don’t think it slowed me down too much though, more like doing a crazy run up the mountain race a week before is what slowed me down a bit. I was hoping to increase my time by 10% at least, but unfortunately only increased my time by more like 5%. Not that bad considering there were more hills this time around. I feel sort of bad for that tourist who was bragging about his half marathon speed to me, wondering why mine was so slow… then he asked me if there were any hills on the route. I told him nope. Apparently in Germany their half marathons don’t have hills. I didn’t think this one would either since the half marathon a month back didn’t really. I hope our hills humbled him somewhat heheh.

The last 2km were amazingly difficult; I was so very very tempted to walk them! The fact that I had informed a set of 4 people walking side by side who were in my way that they were being impolite, and then they started trying to “race” me, helped keep me running for the last kilometer lol. I used the word race very loosely since I run slowly to begin with and had already finished 20km, and they were folks who were walking the 5km version of the race… I was actually surprised that they didn’t keep the running up, they looked like they were having fun going faster then me to try to prove a point. It’s really difficult to prove a point to someone who is already at the point of exhaustion though! I was a little disappointed that I didn’t motivate them enough to run the last km though…

So next up, I think I will take up marathon sleeping. There has just got to be a marathon sleeping competition somewhere. I think I would do really well in that, and the training for it would be a lot of fun!

I would say I will take up marathon eating as well, but I think that is already performed by many people daily at all you can eat buffets.

Btw, road running is more painful than trail running, due to that damndable impact. Well more painful after the fact anyways. Either that or my slacking on my stretching is catching up with me.

Two rest days in a row! :)

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Rest days are fun, you have to specifically schedule days to slack and eat lots! Love them! They are slightly difficult when it’s nice outside and you think about hiking, but it will be worth it when I come in faster for the race tomorrow than the one 2 months back!

To don’t list today:

-Don’t weightlift (darn)
-Don’t run (yeah!)
-Don’t hike (awwww)
-Don’t do the Grouse Grind (whew)
-Don’t do any Bagua or Zhaquan (ok maybe a tiny bit!)

To do list:

-Stretch, stretch lots!
-Light resistance tubes 🙂
-Pack bag early afternoon so it’s all ready to go
-Mix pre and post race drinks

Tough Mudder, not so much!

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Mostly due to lack of arm strength though, aside from that it looks kinda fun, in a holy shit this would kick my ass sort of way! While I train, I don’t think I train enough to be mudder worthy, even if their online questionnaire thinks I am. Perhaps I’ll give it a go next year ;).

And some photos of the actual event: These folks are fucking crazy

I actually took a rest day today!!!

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So I took the bus instead of bikerode to downtown and back to pick up my race package. The only exercise I did today was 14 blocks of walking and 10 blocks of bicycle riding. Of those, I walked 3 blocks with some groceries that felt extremely heavy. I was curious and weighed them when I got home; I was very disappointed to find out they had only weighed 20lbs all together. It’s rather obvious that I need much more arm strength and to work on my arms!

I’m debating between joining my local gym, and taking up indoor rock climbing to help my arm strength; or both.

Oh, and my shoulder hurts a LOT more now. It did NOT like the huge arm swing exercises John showed me.

Yes I take it personally!

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So all I did was go to touch my teacher’s tshirt sleeve to check out the type of technical fabric, and he flinched away. He has done this before when I have gone to touch him for whatever reason. It’s random though, sometimes he doesn’t react, so haven’t trained myself to not do it yet. But yes, unfortunately I take it quite personally since I’ve never seen him do that around anyone else. I got upset and offended by this tonight. Fortunately he still taught me though. Everytime I moved closer to him to hear what he was saying or see what he was doing he backed away. He also stood with his arms crossed in front of him the entire class, until the next student showed up of course. I really hate that I make (some) people this uncomfortable :(. Well OK, hate that I make my martial arts teacher this uncomfortable. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone flinch around me or back away before.

Well at least he said my martial arts was improving. About time, since there wasn’t any improvement for the first year and a half.

Maybe I’ll just go take some martial arts classes at the local gym instead, and try to remember to not touch the teacher :P.

Taichi improves memory!

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I must not have practiced Taichi for long enough, or perhaps Bagua doesn’t have the same affect, or perhaps what they mean is there isn’t as much memory degradation.

So yesterday I slacked terribly! I went to a meeting where I volunteer helping this homeless, shelter residents and low income folks running group. This meant I bikerode full speed (and I do apologize to that one person driving the car that politely moved over for me as I was in the middle of much traffic) there and back for 20 minutes each way. I guess on rest week that isn’t too bad. I did a tiny bit with the resistance bands as well. There wasn’t any circle walking as I was just exhausted by the time I got home. I also skipped my stretching, have to make up for it.

I love martial arts!

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Especially when I get to go train alone outdoors! While classes are awesome and fun and all, there is just something extra special about my own practice I do alone. I get to explore and discover Bagua when I’m on my own in ways I just can’t when other people are around. The energies and the insights are just so much stronger during these times.

I have noticed now that I can run up mountains (albeit quite slowly), the martial arts practice doesn’t seem to completely exhaust me as much. Well I know what that means, as soon as the practice gets easier, John adds something to it to increase the difficulty level lol. He’s good that way, well depending on your definition of good hehe.

Wieghtlifting update and happy shoulder!

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So for the first time in about about a year, I thought it might be safe to try some weightlifting via the little machine at home. Not as fancy as the gym ones, but the convenience of not having to leave the house, not having to shower first (shower to go sweat?), and not having people watch me :). I want to get up to a decent amount of weight before I go out in public and lift weights.

So I was able to do 20lbs on the bring my arms into my chest one, as soon as I brought it into the proper range of motion for my injured shoulder, then all was good.

I was able to do 40lbs on the pull down bar to halfway down, with my hands in the proper position. I put it at 30lbs to bring the bar all the way down though. I was only able to do 20lbs with it for the last couple of weeks, and couldn’t do the full range of motion, had to do it in sections.

I did 40lbs on the push the thing diagonally up.

Bicep curls 17lbs could only do 10 on my right arm, and did 12 on my left, but with assistance so it was more like 10lbs.

I was able to do 100lbs max (started at 60 and worked up) for 1 rep, doing both the pull something up off the ground with palms facing down, then pull something up off the ground with palms facing up. This amazingly did not hurt my shoulder at all!

The lift arm up up over head ones 17lbs right arm, and I got my 5lb kettlebell for my left arm. It didn’t feel like doing that motion with more weight today, ouch.

Did a dozen 17lb pull up the weight with one knee on chair things with each arm.

Did 10 pushups from knees in a row, but not proper form yet, ass was still too much in the air! Was about equal weight on each arm though.

The pick up something and walk quickly with it, was definitely doable at 38lbs. Will have to find heavier things laying about the house, or perhaps a training day can consist of going and buying a heavier kettlebell. This could take up a few training days, a a 25lb one, a 45lb one a 55lb one, a 70lb one… Perhaps I would bring a friend with a car on the 70lb one day!

I did all most of these for 20 reps, on a weight that did not hurt my shoulder at all. This is most definite proof that my shoulder is getting MUCH better! I will wait until my shoulder is more like 95% better before I start to do higher weight and lower reps. I feel like my shoulder is about 85% better now!